This Sacramento bridge closure will cut off a popular river crossing this winter and spring

The historic Jibboom Street Bridge downtown will be closed for major repairs this winter and much of spring, county officials said this week.

The span, which connects Sacramento’s central city with Discovery Park and south Natomas, will close on Sunday, Dec. 10, and is expected to remain inaccessible through May.

The bridge, built in 1931, spans the American River a few yards east of its confluence with the Sacramento River, north of downtown.

The work is being done in winter to minimize the impact on drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who use the bridge to get to the park, rivers and recreational trail, county parks officials said. The nearest alternative bicycle crossings over the American River are to the east near the Highway 160 bridge and farther east at the H Street Bridge past Sacramento State.

Discovery Park will remain open for use this winter via the Natomas Park Drive entrance road at Garden Highway in south Natomas. Discovery Park sometimes floods in winter, becoming unusable, as was the case the first few months this year.

Jeff Leatherman, head of county parks, said the $10 million project involves removing and replacing both the asphalt road surface and steel decking below it. Funding comes from the federal Highway Bridge Program.

The county recently decreased the weight limit for vehicles on the bridge from 10 tons to five tons as a safety measure, pending this winter’s work. Vehicles carrying large boats for launch had been redirected to the Natomas entrance during the last year since an inspection determined the bridge deck needed replacement.

Crews also will repaint the bridge the same green color. That process will involve enclosing the bridge to keep materials from drifting into the river.

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak

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